Why would someone prefer to see a naturopathic doctor over their primary care physician? What are the distinctions between these two types of medical professionals? Let's look at what naturopathic doctors do, how they vary from other types of doctors, and what makes them effective at treating specific conditions.
By the end of this article, we will answer all of your questions and provide you with enough information to determine for yourself whether it is time to visit a naturopathic clinic and have a consultation.
What Is A Naturopathic Doctor?
A naturopathic doctor is a medical practitioner of complementary and alternative medicine. Unlike the conventional model centered around symptom management using pharmaceuticals, a naturopath uses treatments that can range from diet and lifestyle suggestions to herbal remedies and supplements to help patients deal with the root issues of their health concerns
Naturopaths focus on preventive care and rely on diagnostic tools such as blood tests and imaging technology. It is worth noting that although traditional Chinese medicine and naturopathy are deeply rooted in Asian culture, they have been embraced by the North American and Canadian populations over time.
This is why so many insurance companies now cover some forms of alternative medicines. Earlier, we discussed how, as opposed to treating symptoms, a naturopathic doctor can help with a wide range of illnesses.
What Can A Naturopath Do For Me?
Naturopaths assist you in identifying the underlying causes of your medical conditions and advising you on the changes you need to make to recover. They may provide advice on food modifications, and lifestyle adjustments. A licensed naturopath may be able to provide you with treatment such as acupuncture, herbal medicines, homeopathy, and/or nutritional supplements.
What Areas Of Practice Does A Naturopathic Doctor Have?
A naturopath is a type of integrative medicine practitioner who primarily uses holistic therapies.
Holistic medicine approaches health and disease from a whole-body perspective, rather than focusing on your symptoms. Treatments can include herbal remedies, acupuncture, nutritional therapy, physical therapy and lifestyle counselling.
If you’re looking for a good naturopathic clinic in the Greater Toronto Area, Annex Naturopathic Clinic in Downtown Toronto offers all of the mentioned services and is currently accepting new patients.
Some conditions that are commonly treated by Naturopathic Doctors include digestive problems, like irritable bowel syndrome, joint disorders, sleep concerns and hormonal imbalances
Can Naturopathic Doctors Prescribe Medication?
Yes, of course. Naturopathic doctors are trained in the uses and effects of pharmaceutical drugs, as well as any contraindications between them and the treatments we offer. In some cases, we can offer an alternative treatment to a pharmaceutical option, and in others, we can offer a solution to reduce the negative side effects that frequently come with pharmaceuticals.
Most naturopaths in Ontario have obtained the right to prescribe many prescription-only substances such as bio-identical hormones and injectable therapies after attending rigorous training and passing an examination on pharmacology and pharmaceutical prescribing.
Are There Any Illnesses Treated By An ND?
Naturopathic Doctors can treat and support many of the common disorders that affect Canadians.
The long answer involves explaining how NDs work with their patients to treat illness, which starts with asking questions about lifestyle habits and how most chronic conditions can be effectively treated by an ND. These include asthma, muscle pain, allergies and arthritis and many others.
It has been demonstrated that chronic fatigue syndrome, depression or diabetes can be managed solely by naturopaths.
Other illnesses and symptoms can be treated as well through nutrition and diet changes or other treatments by using herbs or homeopathy.
When Should I Visit A Naturopath?
The goal of naturopathic medicine is prevention. This can include preventing the disease from developing, slowing the progression and worsening of an existing condition, or even helping with improving the quality of life for those with advanced conditions that are not likely to be treatable.
Some conditions will require other types of care, but for common and manageable ailments, including cardiovascular health, hormonal imbalance, fertility, menopause, digestion issues, immune system improvement and stress management, as well as allergies, we find there is room for naturopathy in most people’s lives.
Consider scheduling a consultation if you are experiencing any of these conditions and haven't found what works best for your body.
Many Canadians use alternative medicine, and many patients of modern medicine seek consultation with a naturopathic doctor for a second opinion. If you are one of those people, do your research and make sure that your naturopath is licensed.
Verify their credentials; also check to see if they’re currently taking insurance. Annex Naturopathic Clinic offers free 15 minute consultations to patients to better understand how we can help them, or if we’re a good fit for them before committing to an initial consultation. During this, patients do not receive treatment advice or any additional lifestyle, or diet changes advice.
If you have a gut disease, need acupuncture or simply want to live a better healthier life, naturopathic medicine is a good solution for you. It might cost more, but can you put a price on your health?
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